In December 2009, James Cameron’s Avatar straightaway took us to a blue-tinted Pandora in mid 22nd century. The film was released for traditional 2D, 3D and 4D viewing. The stereoscopic filmmaking was a breakthrough in cinematic technique. And the following year, as many as 44 Hollywood films released in 3D, including Alice In Wonderland, Tangled, Alpha And Omega and a limited theatrical re-release of Avatar.
The trend continues into 2011 with at least 15 films in 3D marching into the theatres, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and Cameron’s just-released Sanctum. Bollywood too appears catching up. Vikram Bhatt’s Haunted, to be released on April 15, is being hyped as India’s first next generation stereoscopic 3D film. The technical crew comprises Hollywood technicians. On February 14, however, Akshay Kumar says his Joker will be flagged off and despite a Valentine’s Day launch, the actor-producer is quick to point out that it’s not an out-and-out love story.
“It’s India’s first commercial 3D film. Joker is a funny, emotional story loaded with SFX. And Shirish (director Kunder) is the perfect guy to direct it given that he has studied the technique,” says Kumar. When asked on how he plans to make the project commercially viable given the high costs involved, Akshay reasons that as actor-producer his remuneration is down to zero so there’s no load on the project in terms of star fee, and whatever business it does, will be there on his plate. Incidentally the makers of Shah Rukh Khan’s RA.One are also considering Hollywood offers of releasing the film in 3D format. Much would depend on what the post-production results show.
Two days before Joker gets going, Patiala House, Akshay’s first release of the year will open. It has Akshay playing a cricketer whose wish to be part of the English team puts a strain on his relationship with his Punjabi father played by Rishi Kapoor.
The film gave Akshay the opportunity to bowl to cricketers like Kieron Pollard, Andrew Symmonds and Herschelle Gibbs at the historic Oval ground. “I felt like a lucky man,” he smiles.